Pale Blue Successfully Operates its Water Vapor Propulsion System in Low Earth Orbit

Pale Blue Successfully Operates its Water Vapor Propulsion System in Low Earth Orbit

Pale Blue succeeded in operating the water vapor propulsion system (resistojet) in low earth orbit. Pale Blue’s propulsion system was installed on “EYE,” a nano-satellite for STAR SPHERE Project, and tested for the first time in space. Going forward, the company will innovate and expand the commercial use of its water-based propulsion systems for small satellites.

Pale Blue’s water-based propulsion system aboard “EYE” was launched by SpaceX on January 3rd, 2023, and has been currently orbiting earth in LEO. The propulsion system operated for approximately 2 minutes on March 3rd, 2023, and the company confirmed successful thrust from the obtained data.

STAR SPHERE Project, led by Sony Group Corporation, is planning to roll out a space photography service in 2023. The satellite will use Pale Blue’s thruster to enter the target orbit before the service launch.

“Pale Blue successfully developed and operated its water-based thruster, and with this, the company takes a huge step forward towards orbit insertion for STAR SPHERE Project,” said Jun Asakawa, CEO and Co-Founder of Pale Blue. “We feel a strong significance in this project, which creates new values through the perspective of space and provides opportunities to learn about the Earth and its environment. We will continue technological innovation to create mobility capabilities that are core to the space industry and pioneer the expansion of human possibility.”

The product specifications of Pale Blue’s water thruster aboard “EYE”

  • – Size: 9.0cm x 12.1cm x 12.1cm
  • – Wet mass: 1.4 kg
  • – Power: 22 W (typical / ground testing)
  • – Thrust: 5.6 mN (typical / ground testing)

Click here to learn about Pale Blue's Propulsion Systems.

Publisher: SatNow